CEOT 2016: Practice, Policy, and Politics of the Organ Shortage

In anticipation of CEOT 2016, I have asked Ken Newell to blog about what I think will be the best winter meeting our society has ever planned. I hope to see you and your families there!

Register for CEOT 2016

Kenneth Newell, MD, PhD, AST Past-President and CEOT 2016 Program Planning Co-Chair

Is your career focused on transplantation?

Do you want to better understand the sweeping changes that are impacting your practice today, as well as those that are just around the corner?

Do you value a smaller meeting setting that fosters direct interactions with your colleagues?

If you answer “yes,” you do not want to miss CEOT 2016.

For more than two decades, the AST has held winter meetings to meet the educational and professional needs of its membership. The common theme was to host a smaller meeting in a retreat-like setting to encourage in-depth discussions and idea exchanges.

When we organized this year’s meeting, we did not want to lose those aspects of previous meetings that have been so popular in the past. However, we also realized that with the demands of today’s practice environment, a meeting had to have a more immediate impact for busy transplant professionals to allocate the time and prioritize this meeting ahead of the many other good alternatives.

With this in mind, CEOT 2016 aims to:

  • preserve the small meeting format,
  • encourage discussions that go well beyond the surface issues to the point that those in attendance are true participants in the meeting, and
  • focus on a topic that, while of immediate clinical and scientific interest, remains true to the “cutting edge” focus that has been so popular.

Guided by these goals, the committee and AST Board of Directors chose to focus on issues related to solving the organ shortage.

Before you quit reading, assuming this is just another forum to belabor the shortage of organs and call for "novel" programs to increase donation rates, let me highlight some aspects of this meeting that make it timely, important, and worth attending:

Do you want to understand the issues driving the discussion and policy changes related to the reallocation or organs and redesign of allocation districts?
If so, CEOT 2016 has something for you: Come hear the first formal, full-length presentation of the 1-year results from KAS by those who designed and implemented it.

Afraid that this is just a kidney program?
There are sessions on the new proposals under consideration for the redistricting and allocation of livers and hearts given by those leading these efforts. There will be discussions on how these changes impact programs of different sizes and in different geographic areas, as well as the potential financial impact of these new policies.

Are you interested in the current and future status of living kidney and liver transplantation?
Come to participate in discussions of financial disincentives to living donation and potential solutions. Learn about our evolving sense of the risks of living donation and how this knowledge might be used to shape practice and enhance patient safety.

Are you considering how to offer your patients optimal KPD opportunities?
Listen to and question those recognized as leaders in the various national, federal, and single center programs to determine what works best for your program and patients.

Have you heard about a developing initiative between several transplant societies and the IOM, designed to test interventions in deceased organ donors prior to donation with the aim of optimizing not only the number of organs donated but also their function?
Come share your thoughts with those leading these projects.

It’s true, you will certainly see a number of "the usual suspects" on the program, but you will also see that the program was designed to create natural debates between those with different viewpoints as well as leaders from outside the clinical practice of transplantation, including I. Glenn Cohen (an ethicist and legal scholar), Alvin Roth (a Nobel laureate economist), Brian Shepard (the CEO of UNOS), and Kevin Yoder (a United States Congressman).

Finally, there is the venue: the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix is spectacular. It preserves the more intimate setting of a small meeting and offers access to nearby dining, shopping, and recreational opportunities in old Scottsdale.

I hope that you will join your friends and colleagues at CEOT 2016 this February 25 - 27 to discuss these and other important topics. I really think that you will not want to miss this.

Register for CEOT 2016



Great topic but why is there nothing about lung organ allocation in this meeting? It highlights heart, liver, and kidney allocation but there is nothing on lung allocation. The absence of this just further highlights the lack of AST's emphasis on this organ.

The 2016 CEOT Planning Committee reached out to all of the AST Communities of Practice (COPs) for input on the content of this meeting. What emerged was a consensus that the following topics were most timely: 1) the impact of recent changes in kidney allocation and distribution 2) proposed changes in liver and heart allocation 3) the issues of disincentive removal and the ethics of incentivization of donation. In particular, the input from the Thoracic and Critical Care COP was that the major focus this year should be on heart allocation, given the activity in this area. In contrast, lung allocation post-LAS has been fairly stable, and there are no major proposals for change that we are aware of in the near future. Also, the impact of LAS has been covered in many other venues. At last year’s CEOT we featured ex vivo lung resuscitation in a plenary session, and we did not want to rehash this topic this year. Several other groups have commented that it would have been valuable to consider including sessions related to other organs (pancreas and intestine) or disciplines (pediatrics or pathology). Unfortunately, we simply did not have the time to include all of these topics; and/or in some cases, the relevant groups could not complete acceptable proposals by the relevant deadlines. Nonetheless, we hope that AST members will be interested in understanding and debating the common principles and themes that are currently shaping the consideration of new allocation strategies and redistricting proposals. Your continued participation in the AST is very important to us, and we will continue to look for ways to provide value to all members of our diverse society. - Ken Newell and James Allan

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